Tag Archives: 艺术家

A Thousand Paper Cranes

Can you pinpoint the exact moment when you became an adult?

Painter Kaori Watanabe says, for her, it was “when Japanese ginger first tasted good.”

Born in 1984 in Shizuoka, Watanabe is a graduate of the Kyoto Saga University of Arts. She creates elegant paintings of young women with flowing hair and porcelain skin in traditional Japanese kimonos. While beautiful, the body language and demeanors of Watanabe’s characters give glimpses of doubt, a silent internal struggle. But what are these characters struggling against? What are their aspirations?


哪一刻,你觉得你长大了?

“当我觉得日本姜变得好吃了。”渡边佳织(Kaori Watanabe)说。

渡边佳织于 1984 年出生于日本静冈,毕业于京都嵯峨艺术大学。她画中的少女让人印象深刻。在形象上,长发、和服、富士山、白白净净的脸庞,就像是从谷崎润一郎的《细雪》中走出来“雪子”;然而在肢体语言和面部表情上,那些沉默和倔强显得暧昧而充满意味——女孩们想要挣脱——挣脱什么?飞向什么?

When Watanabe was still a child in the 1980s and 1990s, Japan experienced severe economic turmoil.

But this period of strife led to two pivotal cultural shifts in the country.

First, it led Japanese women to begin joining the workforce en masse, furthering the cause of feminism. In 1985, the government enacted the “Gender Equality Employment Act” to protect women from gender discrimination in the workplace. 

Second, it ushered in the “Golden Age” of Japanese pop culture, as people lost hope in the economy and urgently sought emotional solace and entertainment. 


20 世纪八九十年代,也就是渡边佳织的少女时期,日本经历了严重的经济动荡。

但经济滑铁卢刺激了两件事情。

一件事是更多的女性主动或被动地涌入社会寻求工作,日本女性主义在那个时期得以高度发展。1985 年,日本颁布了《男女雇佣均等法》,为女性在就业中遇到的性别歧视提供法律保护。

另一件事就是促使日本流行文化行业进入“黄金期”。人们对经济不抱希望,急需在情感上得到抚慰和娱乐。

With the rise of feminism and growth of the entertainment industry, a new wave of strong female characters—both real and fictional—would emerge as iconic figures in Japanese pop culture.

As a teenager Watanabe fell in love with art and punk rock.“The three things that defined my youth were MTV, the singer Jun Togawa, and the painter Kajiwara Hisako,” she says. “After we got MTV, I became obsessed with it. I spent all my free time glued to the set. Jun Togawa was a singer in the 80s — she was totally punk. Kajiwara Hisako was a painter from Osaka who worked in a traditional Japanese style, and I was really into her work. I loved punk rock, but back then I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to form a band, so I wrote poems to express my emotions. Even today I still include small poems on some of my paintings.”


这两个方面综合起来,越来越多富有不同个性的女性偶像成为渡边佳织一代的“青春记忆”。

在渡边佳织的青少年时期,就爱上了朋克和艺术。“要说我青春期的三个关键词,就是 MTV、户川纯、梶原緋佐子 。自从我们家装上 MTV 以后,我就迷上了它,一有空就看;户川纯是 80 年代很火的一个朋克风格的创作女歌手;梶原緋佐子是我很喜欢的以日本传统风格为主的京都女画家。我很喜欢朋克乐,但那时我找不到和我一起组乐队的朋友,所以我就通过写诗来表达我的情感。现在我仍然会在一些画上写诗。”

In Watanabe’s female figures, traditional symbolic forms and a rebellious, unconstrained spirit appear side by side, in a state of constant struggle. Some of her typical paintings feature Japan’s traditional “thousand paper cranes,” which give the work a sense of restlessness and anxiety—as though the cranes were the young women’s souls, flying away one after the other in their beauty and their fragility.


渡边佳织笔下的少女形象中,传统的外形符号似乎在和叛逆不羁的灵魂无休止地斗争、共处。在她的几张典型风格的作品中,日本传统文化里的“千纸鹤”元素反而为画面注入了灵动和不安的气息——仿佛是少女的灵魂,美丽、脆弱、飞翔、如影随形。

While the thousand paper cranes that populate her work are deliberate, Watanabe is unable to explain their precise meaning. “At times, I suppose they’re symbolic of certain emotions. Or maybe they’re a nod to the spirits in Japanese folk tales that can take on people’s souls, as in the novel Onmyōji: the cranes would be either shikigami, which are spirits, or shikifuda, which are paper puppets that house spirits.” By including these inanimate yet mysterious elements in her figure paintings, she blurs the lines between fiction and reality, between the ancient and the contemporary.

The friction between surface cuteness and inner rebelliousness reflects the experience of growing up as a woman in Japan. “I don’t hope for complete gender equality, but in the current situation I can still strive to live a happier and freer life,” says Watanabe. Feminist voices are making themselves heard more loudly than ever, but gender inequality is still very much present, and young women grow up in struggle and compromise. They’re expected to carry on a tradition, but the thousand paper cranes still cry out.


画上这些千纸鹤,渡边佳织当然是用意的,却说不清明确的理由——“它象征着某种情感,亦或像是那种日本民间神话中可以摄人心魂的神灵,就像是《阴阳师》中阴阳师所役使的灵体 Shikigami,或是一种寄居在纸制人偶中的叫做 Shikifuda 的灵体。”渡边佳织将这些看起来没有生命却极具神秘感的元素融入她的人物绘画中,现实与虚构、古代与当下的界限就这样被打破了。

这种表面的乖巧与内心的反叛之间的矛盾,充斥在日本女性的成长经验中。渡边佳织说:“我可能并不寄希望于男女能完全平等,但我可以在这种情况下努力活得自由和快乐。”哪怕在当下,呼吁女性权利的声音越来越高,但不平等依然存在。少女在挣扎与妥协中成长——传统遗留在她们身上,千纸鹤却不停地鸣。

“The moment Japanese ginger first tasted good—that’s when I knew I’d grown up,” Watanabe says.

For many young women, growing up is like ginger: tangy, tart, spicy, sweet. For children, the flavor is too complex, worlds away from the straightforward sweetness of candy.

But one day you suddenly find you appreciate this complexity and can take satisfaction in the multilayered bounty life offers. Maybe that’s the moment when you grow up.


“当我觉得日本姜变得好吃了,就是我觉得自己长大了的那一刻。”

少女的成长就好像吃姜,生脆、酸甜、辛辣。对于小孩子来说,口感太复杂了,远不如一颗糖甜得那么简单喜悦。

但是有一天,你忽然发现自己能接受这复杂,从这生命赋予的丰富层次中找到自己的满足——大概这就是长大成人的那一刻。

Instagram: @watanabe_kaori_

 

Contributor: Cheng Li


 Instagram: @watanabe_kaori_

 

供稿人: Cheng Li

Our Digital Selves

Currently based in New York, John Yuyi is a Taiwanese artist who was launched into the spotlight following the success of her FACE POST project. FACE POST was a photo series in which she affixed temporary transfer tattoos of old photos on the faces and bodies of herself and her friends. The idea of using temporary tattoos in this project would become the springboard for Yuyi’s now-signature aesthetic. And today – having completed multiple collaborations with luxury fashion brands and a successful solo exhibition in New York – Yuyi has proven herself a force to be reckoned with in the international art scene.


John Yuyi(江宥仪)是来自台湾、现在在纽约生活的艺术家。在早先的《FACE POST》系列里,她将自己上传过的照片做成纹身贴纸,转印在脸和身体上,这样有趣又前所未见的作品形式让她开始受到广大的关注。艺术生涯还很年轻,但 John Yuyi 已经在纽约办过个人展览、收过来自国际品牌的合作邀约。面对一步一步逐渐堆叠的名气,她始终维持自己稳定前进的步调,在创作路上不改依然故我的态度。

Throughout Yuyi’s works, the internet is one of the most prevalent topics explored. In this age of interconnectivity, our computers and phones have become invaluable devices that connect us with the world at large, and social media is a large part of the internet ecosystem. However, social media has proven itself to be a double-edged blade for many artists: Social media can be beneficial in bringing attention to the works of up-and-coming artists, but the quest for bigger followings and more “likes” can easily lead to self-imposed creative stagnation.

Today, rather than simply being spaces to share and communicate ideas with others, social media has come to define our identity. People meticulously curate posts to project a flawless digital persona, “likes” on social media have become metrics to measure our value as individuals, and many, like Yuyi, can find that differentiating between our real self and digital self has become increasingly difficult. Cognizant of these issues, much of Yuyi’s works – which is often jam-packed with symbols from Twitter, Instagram, and other notable platforms – serve as a reminder, or perhaps a warning, of this over-reliance on social media.


在现今这个人人与网络紧密连结的世代里,手机成为我们观看外在的窗口。对艺术家来说,网络媒体的存在像是双面刃,能让作品轻易且有效的曝光,反过来却也可能就此限制住自己。

在 John Yuyi 的创作中,Instagram 和 Twitter 是频繁出现的符码。社交网络不单单作为她发佈作品的平台,甚至是创作的素材、灵感的发源地。有些时候,社交网络完全定义了我们,我们依靠一张张照片和一则则发言来拼凑别人眼中的自己,久而久之越来越脱离不了。社交网络确实操控了我们的生活,某种程度上我们都像是为了网络上自己的分身而活。John Yuyi 的作品作为一个提醒,让我们开始反思这样荒唐的现况。

As someone who recognizes her own dependence on social media, Yuyi confesses that the line between an influencer and an artist can seem blurred at times. It’s something that she herself often struggles to differentiate. The goals for an online influencer and an artist do admittedly have certain overlaps. While they’re both seeking recognition to some extent, their motivations are drastically different. For an online influencer, they’re marketing themselves as the intended product, but for an artist, their creations are the intended product. “In the past, I’d think about how many ‘likes’ I can get on my uploads,” she shares of her former insecurities. “But now, I don’t think about it like that. My content isn’t catered for Instagram. I create for myself.”


网红与网络艺术家,同样都是在吸引网民的目光,本质上却不太一样——前着借的是自己,后者借的是创作。John Yuyi 承认自己曾经非常依赖网络媒体,在两者模煳不清的分界之间,花上了一段时间来确立自己的定位。“以前的我会常常去猜想 po 这张照片能获得多少喜欢,但现在的我尽量不这么做,不为了 Instagram 去设计内容,而是以 ‘自己’ 为出发点去创作。”

Aside from her internet-inspired works, Yuyi’s approach of using temporary tattoos and human bodies as canvases continues in her other projects. Often times, ideas simply come from her day-to-day life, whether it be a sentence from a book she’s reading or lyrics from a song she just heard. Yuyi’s success as an artist comes from her talents of recognizing these hidden stories – her works present these overlooked stories as they are, but her visual approach adds the context required for her audience to fully appreciate these observations. “I find a lot of inspiration in my daily life,” she tells us. “I think of creating art like writing a journal. It’s simply a summary of all that I see and experience.”


之后 John Yuyi 持续蒐集符号和标誌,有时是书里读到的一段情节、或一段喜欢的歌词,灵感的足迹遍佈生活各处的小细节。“我的灵感都来自我的生活,创作对我来说像在写日记一样,我只是把我看到的、我想到的、我所在的世界记录下来。” 她用既已存在的故事来说故事,来自一双比常人更细腻、更专注的眼睛,这些事物早就存在在那,只是你我从未发现而已。在她的小世界里,没有什么是不合时宜。

Humbly, Yuyi says the successful conclusion of her debut solo exhibition in New York was the best birthday present she could’ve received this year. The next stop for her will be Los Angeles where she’ll host her second-ever solo exhibition, My (Temporary) Self. The exhibition will debut at Make Room on March 24th, 2018 and run until April 22nd, 2018.


John Yuyi 向我们开心的说今年的生日礼物,是顺利在纽约举行的第一场个人展览。而下一站她要前往洛杉矶,带着第二场个展《MY (TEMPORARY) SELF》于 2018 年 3 月 24 日至 4 月 22 日期间,在 Make Room 跟大家见面。

EventMY (TEMPORARY) SELF
Opening: Saturday, March 24, 2018, 6 ~ 9 pm
Exhibition Dates: March 24, 2018 ~ April 22, 2018

 

Address:
Make Room
1035 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States of America

 

Website: www.johnyuyi.com
Instagram: @johnyuyi

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


活动名称: MY (TEMPORARY) SELF
开幕时间: 星期六,2018年3月24日,下午6点至9点
展览日期: 2018年3月24日—2018年4月22日

 

地址:
美国
加州 洛杉矶
1035 N Broadway
Make Room

 

网站: www.johnyuyi.com
Instagram@johnyuyi

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Visual Metaphors w/ Wenting Li

Travellers: For the Parallel show at Light Grey Art Lab. / "旅行者":为《Parallel》在 Light Grey 艺术实验室的展览而创作的插画。

Wenting Li is a Chinese Canadian illustrator based out of Toronto. Her work is preoccupied with color and movement, the relationship between shapes, and the subtleties of complementing stories with imagery. As a young artist, she’s already established an impressive list of clients including The Globe and Mail, TED, Reader’s Digest, and The New York Times.


Wenting Li 是来自加拿大的华裔插画师,目前居住多伦多。她的作品专注于色彩与动态、形状之间的关系以及用图片补充故事的微妙之处。虽然还是个年轻的艺术家,但 Wenting 已经建立了一系列大客户群,比如《环球邮报》、TED、《读者文摘》和《纽约时报》。

Diving into Memory: As we remember things, we also alter the integrity of a memory. An illustration for Quebec Science. / “潜入回忆”:当我们记住事情的时候,我们也改变了一段记忆的完整性。为《Quebec Science》创作的插画。
Head Full of Memories: What we've come to know about the inner workings of memory. An illustration for Quebec Science. / “充满回忆的头脑”:我们已经知道了记忆的内在运作。为《Quebec Science》创作的插画。

Describing her personal work, Li tells us: “[It’s] especially focused on aesthetics but also on things I can’t think of words for and nebulous things like feelings.”

In contrast, her client work is more structured and goal-oriented. Li says, “Client work for me is about trying to map a prompt, such as an article, a story, or a concept, against the mess of visual connections unique to my head. I’m interested in visual metaphors, quiet moments, momentum, mystery, and how a drawing can open into parallel dimensions where things gesture at what they look like ordinarily, but their outlines are malleable.”


对于个人创作理念,Wenting 和我们说:“(我的作品)主要关注美学,以及我无法用语言描绘的事情,譬如像感觉这样含糊不清的事物。”

相比之下,她受客户委托创作的作品会更结构化,目标的导向更明确。她说:“给客户创作就像是在我自己脑袋一大堆乱七八糟的视觉联系中,试图让思维映射出一个主题,比如像是一篇文章、一个故事或一个概念。让我感兴趣的是那些视觉隐喻、安静氛围、动力张力和某种神秘的气质,尤其是看着画面里的事物映射着平凡的日常,但它们的轮廓却具有了可塑性,呈现出一个平行空间,这特别让我着迷。”

A Seat at the Table: Encouraging North American companies to become more diverse workplaces. An illustration for Corporate Knights. / "桌前一座":鼓励北美的公司工作场所变得更加多元化。为《Corporate Knights》创作的插画。
Winnipeg Beach: For a grown son's personal essay remembering his father. An illustration for The Globe and Mail. / “温尼伯海滩”:一个已长大的儿子写个人散文以回忆他的父亲。为《环球邮报》创作的插画。
Daughter: An unpublished piece on the burden of responsibility in elder care for The Walrus. / “女儿”:给《The Walrus》创作的还未发表的作品,关于养老责任重担的问题。

Wenting shares with us a story behind Constants, one of her recent illustrations for PLANADVISER, a trade magazine that, surprisingly, has established a reputation among artists as a platform for wildly conceptual illustration despite its technical content. Wenting says, “When I get the chance to work with PLANADVISER, I always try to let my subconscious go rampant. Some of the other sketches for this assignment included motifs like a kitchen full of animals, a home on the back of a giant fish, a vertical city – the concept I was given to work with was ‘stability of steady flow of income.’ Usually, I send in three or four of my favorite sketches, a distillation of maybe six or seven ideas, and many more thumbnails. The concept we went with is a tea drinker ensconced in front of her fireplace, with an endless supply of firewood for boiling water for tea, which comes from an enormous tree growing through her window and into the house itself. It’s something that was fun to draw. I knew I wanted to color the illustration as a night scene with dark blues and purples and lighter pinks and greens as contrast, with a sort of interior “glowiness,” and that’s what carried through to the final.”


Wenting跟我们分享了创作《Constants》(《常量》)背后的故事。这是她为商业杂志《PLANADVISER》创作的插图之一,神奇的是,这本商业杂志在艺术家之间颇有声誉,不仅仅囊括技术性的内容,还被视为是概念插图的一个重要平台。Wenting解释:“当我知道可以和(《PLANADVISER》)合作时,我就会让自己的潜意识尽情发挥。 这次合作的其它主题还包括一个充满各种动物的厨房,一条巨型大鱼背上的房子,以及一个垂直城市,我拟下的主题是‘稳定收入带来稳定’。通常我会发三到四幅我最喜欢的草稿,六七个比较好的想法,以及更多缩略图。我们采用的概念是一个在躲在壁炉前喝茶的女人,不断添柴煮茶。烧柴的木材则来自一棵穿过她房子窗户、径直伸入房子内的擎天大树。这样的题材很有趣,也比较大胆。我想用夜景的深蓝和紫色来给插图上色,加上浅粉色和绿色作为对比,突显出一些内部的光芒感,这主题和方法贯穿始终。”

Capture the Future: Poster illustration for the RBC Amplify 2018 program. / "捕获未来":为 RBC Amplify 2018 计划的海报插图。
Constants: Maintaining a constant flow in income and a constant supply of firewood for tea. An illustration for Planadviser. / "常量":保持收入不变,为煮茶提供不间断的柴火。 给《Planadviser》的插图。

Although Wenting was born in China, she left the country at the age of four. She cites her parents as her primary ties to Chinese culture. “[My parents] are in some ways very Chinese in terms of food, values, language, and so on, but in other ways are quite ambivalent – we don’t really mark the major Lunar New Year’s holiday for example. Sometimes the culture I come from can feel like more of a series of quirks, and other times it is definitely like looking at the world from a very different angle.”

While her cultural background doesn’t directly influence her work, Wenting is always hungry to discover new perspectives about the world around her as a means of fueling her creativity. She shares some of her recent sources of inspiration: “I’ve been listening to The Paris Review podcast and there’s something really nice about listening to people read you stories and poems and talk about their output. I’m also still reading Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life & Others – I’m stuck on a particular story about automatons in a Victorian-esque setting that is crawling up my skin.”


虽然 Wenting 在中国出生,但她四岁时就离开了这个国家,在她看来,父母是她与中国文化之间最主要的纽带。“(我的父母) 在食物、价值观、语言等等方面都很中国化,但在其它方面又相当矛盾。譬如,像中国农历新年这样的重要节日我们也不会怎么过。有时候,我感觉自己所来自的文化更像是一系列奇怪的事物,有时,又像是换了一个非常不同的角度来看世界。”

但她的文化背景并没有直接影响到她的艺术创作,Wenting 一直渴望发掘出看待周遭世界的全新角度,以作为她艺术的养分。她分享了她最近的一些文学灵感来源:“我一直都有听《巴黎评论》(The Paris Review)播客,听听别人给你讲故事、读诗歌,谈论他们的想法,挺有意思的。我还在读姜峯楠(Ted Chiang)的《Stories of Your Life & Others》(《你及他人一生的故事》),我尤其喜欢其中一个维多利亚时代背景关于机器人的故事。这个故事看得我毛骨悚然。”

Cherry Beach: Catching the Perseids shower in Toronto. / “繁星海滩”:在多伦多的海滩撞见了英仙座流星雨。

Despite her natural talents and reputation as an up-and-coming illustrator, Wenting still faces her fair share of creative struggles. She tells us, “Coming up with ideas is frustrating but really fun. Sometimes I lie down on the couch and despair of ever having a good idea again. Kind of like running through pain, I just keep drawing through it. It’s also helpful to switch your brain to a different track for a while, like go for a walk or clean all the sinks in your basement. I also struggle with living a life apart from my creative life – but waiting for a less busy time to live your life is an endless wait.”


尽管有着出色的天赋,且已被公认为新晋的创意人才,但在插画工作上,Wenting仍然有自己的挣扎与苦恼。她与我们分享道:“创意构思的过程有时很令人沮丧,但也真的很有趣,有时我躺在沙发上,绝望到怀疑自己以后还能不能再想出好的创意。就像是在痛苦中奔跑,我只能在痛苦中不停地画画。当然,把大脑切换到一个不同的频道一段时间会有所帮助,譬如去散散步,或是清理一下地下室的水槽。我还希望可以让工作不那么忙碌,好好享受一下创作之外的生活,但是要等到这样的时候,不知道要等到何年何月了。”

The Garden of Memory: An illustrator for the "Roots" issue of Amator. / “记忆花园”:为《Amator》“Roots”期刊创作的插画。
Small: The not-good-enough plague that comes with living in the social media age. An illustration for Canadian Living. / “小”:生活在社交媒体时代所带来的“不够好”状态的瘟疫。为《Canadian Living》创作的插画。
Into the Fire: Prumsodun Ok and the formation of Cambodia's first all-male, gay-identified Khmer dance company. An illustration for TED. / “入火”:Prumsodun OK 和柬埔寨第一个全男性、定义为同性恋属性的高棉舞蹈公司。为 TED 创作的插画。
Rowing: Opposing ideological agendas stalling the Democratic Party. An illustration for The New York Times. / “划船”:民主党内部的反对声音,拖延了民主党的议程。为《纽约时报》创作的插画。
Adding Value: Growing a shared set of values while growing a team. An illustration for Intercom. / "增值":在发展团队的同时,也要发展一套共同的价值观。为 Intercom 所创作的插图。

Website: wentingli.com
Instagram: @wentingthings

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站: wentingli.com
Instagram: @wentingthings

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

A Day in the Studio with Yan Wei

 

无法观看?前往优酷

Yan Wei is a contemporary artist and painter from Beijing, China. After graduating from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Art and Design, she started her career as an illustrator working in the advertising industry. However, during her stint in advertising, she began to question her own goals and motivations. “I had to face the fact that advertising was not the reason I got into art,” she says. “I realized that advertising would only take me further away from my goals as an artist.”


闫威是来自北京的一名当代艺术家和画家。从清华大学美术学院毕业后,她为广告公司做插画设计。但这个行业让她开始怀疑自己的选择,质疑起自己学美术的目标和初衷。“我意识到,广告不是我当初从事艺术创作的原因,并且会让我离自己成为艺术家的目标越来越远。”

Moonlight
Internal

Soon after this revelation, Yan quit her cushy advertising job and set up a painting studio in her parent’s home. She intended to dedicate all of her energy to making a reputation for herself in the art world. Over the next decade, Yan continuously progressed as an artist – her work would evolve from small ink-on-paper pieces to large-scale acrylic works on canvas.

Yan’s hard work would pay off. As of now, her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions, received massive amounts of praise and attention online, and has been purchased by the Shanghai Art Museum for its public collection.


想清楚之后,闫威辞掉了原来收入颇丰的工作,在父母家中成立了一个画室。她打算把所有的精力投入到艺术创作中,争取在艺术界中立足。在接下来的十年里,闫威的艺术创作不断精进,作品也渐渐从一方方小画纸进军到偌大的丙烯画布上去。

功夫不负有心人。从毅然离职到重归艺术创作,再到十年如一日的创作,到目前为止,闫威的作品已经在许多展览上展出,在网络媒体上也获得了大量的点赞和关注,且不少作品已被上海美术馆收录。

Yan Wei’s creative process is centered around routine and discipline. She shares, “A lot of people might think, artists or those who work creatively might live more spontaneously and stay up late, but it’s not like that. I’ll wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, clean the house, and start to paint. Then I’ll have lunch and continue to paint, all the way until the sun goes down and it gets dark, and I can’t paint anymore.”


闫威创作流程的核心是规律和纪律。她分享道:“很多人会以为艺术家或在创意领域中工作的人,总是生活得很随性或经常熬夜,但事实不是这样。”她继续向我们描述她例行的生活:“我会起得很早,吃早餐,打扫家里,开始画画。接着我会吃午餐然后继续画画,一直到傍晚天色暗下来,我没办法再画了为止。”

Guardian

Youth, beauty, and femininity are recurring themes throughout Yan Wei’s body of work. Her art is a way for her to explore the changing roles of women within the context of modern culture and society. “I think of femininity as a whole,” she explains. “Each of my paintings, the subjects are different, but they all have something in common.”


在闫威的作品中,青春、美丽、女性气质是经常出现的主题。通过自己的作品,她在探索着现代文化和社会背景下女性角色的变化。她解释道:“我是将女性气质当作一个整体来思考的。我的每幅作品都会有不同的人物角色,但她们都有共同之处。”

Hunt

For Yan, her art has also become a process of self-discovery regarding what it means to be a woman. “When I depict women, I think it’s different than when men depict women. When men depict women, it might be as an outside observer. But when I depict women, it’s a depiction of who I am.”


对于闫威来说,艺术是一个自我发现的过程,让她探讨成为一名女性的意义。“当我画女性时,应该跟男性画家描绘女性形象是不同的。男人画女性时,可能是以外部观察者的角度来创作的。但是当我画女性的时候,其实也是在画自己。”

Double Birth
Croquet
Tide
Empirical Wonderland

Yan Wei will be hosting a solo exhibition in Beijing, China opening on March 3rd, 2018. See below for full details.


接下来,闫威将在北京举办个人作品展,开幕日为2018年03月03日。请参阅下面的详细信息。

Event:
VANITY
Yan Wei Solo Exhibition in Beijing

Date: March 3rd, 2018 ~ April 3rd, 2018
Opening Reception: March 3rd 15:00 – 18:00

Address:
Hi Art Center
B-B36, UBP
No. 10 Jiuxianqiao Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China

 


活动:
《浮世》
闫威个人作品展

展期: 2018年03月03日 —— 2018年04月03日
开幕酒会: 03月03日,15:00 – 18:00

地址:
中国
北京朝阳区
酒仙桥路10号
恒通商务园B36-B座1层
Hi艺术中心

Instagram: @koomoowei

 

Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao


Instagram@koomoowei

 

供稿人与摄影师: George Zhi Zhao

The Art of War

Big Bruce Lee

Mu Pan is a Taiwanese artist currently based in New York City. With influences ranging from Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s and 1990s to Japanese manga and kaiju movies, Mu incorporates elements of Chinese history and mythology to tell epic stories and legends with modern sensibilities. Mu’s artwork is never about art for its own sake – in his own words, “I am just an otaku who draws.”


潘慕文(Mu Pan)是一名现居纽约的台湾艺术家。他融合中国历史和神话元素,用画作来讲述具有现代感的史诗故事和传奇,从80、90年代的香港电影到日本漫画和怪兽电影,都对潘慕文的作品产生了很大的影响。他的艺术作品从来不只是为了创作而创作,用他自己的话说,“我只是一个画画的宅男”。

From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列

As an artist who tells stories of epic, large-scale battles, war is one of Mu’s primary inspirations. He shares, “War, to some degree, is a beautiful thing to me. War creates great characters, and it also writes history. You’ve got to be a great artist in order to fight a war as a commander. There are so many arts you have to master in warfare, such as the formation, the economic concern, the time, the strategy, the geographic advantage, the numbers difference between you and your enemy, the art of brainwashing for loyalty, and the sense of mission. It costs a great amount of patience, and it also requires a high level of charisma and intelligence. Whether it is for invading or defending, to me it is just beautiful to see how a person can unite people’s individual strengths to become one great power to fight against the opponent.”


作为一个描绘史诗、大规模军事场面的艺术家,战争是他创作的主要灵感之一。他解释道:“对我而言,战争某种层面上是一件美丽的事情。战争创造了伟大的人物,也书写了历史。要成为战争中的指挥官,首先你必须是一位出色的艺术家。在战争中,必须掌握的艺术非常多,编队、经济问题、时间、策略、地理优势、我军与敌军在人数上的差异、关于忠诚与使命感的洗脑式说话艺术等等。这些都需要很大的耐心,同时也需要极大的魅力和智慧。无论是侵略还是防守,对我来说,看着一个人如何团结其他个体,凝聚成为对抗对手的巨大力量,这个过程真是充满了美感。”

Loyal Retainer: Final Chapter
Dinoasshole Chapter 3
Dinoasshole Chapter 5

Mu often draws from the theatre of modern events to find inspiration for his work. “Usually, when I’m excited about something I saw or read on the media, or from my daily life, I first associate the subject with a monster or some creatures on a large scale, then think about who it will be fighting with.”


潘慕文经常从现代事件中汲取创作的灵感。 “如果我从媒体、日常生活中看到或读到一些令我感兴趣的东西时,我会把这个主题延伸联想出某个怪物或是一些体型庞大的生物,然后去构想这只怪物开战的对象。”

From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
My Name is Charlie: Yellow
My Name is Charlie: Red

With regards to his creative process, Mu is about spontaneity and creating in the moment. He never creates preliminary sketches for a painting, preferring to work freely and make changes on the fly. As each painting progresses, it reflects the emotions and events of his daily life. “I let the piece flow with whatever is happening in my life,” he explains. “This gives me the motivation to keep going day after day.”


谈到自己的创作过程,潘慕文说主要都是自发性和即兴的创作。绘画时,他从来不会先画草图,而是更喜欢自由地创作,随心所欲地作出改变。每幅画在完成的过程中,反映出的正是他平日生活里的情绪和经历。他解释说:“我把作品与我生活中发生的一切交织在一起,这给了我继续前进的动力。”

From the Frog Wars series. / 来自《Frog Wars》系列

For Mu, art is a way to channel man’s energy, destructive power, and warlike disposition within the constraints of modern society. “I worship the strength of men and animals,” he tells us. “I dream to have the dominating power to rule, to destroy, and instill fear into my enemies. Of course, it’s impossible. No one can have this kind of power in today’s world. So I created my own world for myself with my images. In my images, I can be whatever I want to be and eat whoever I hate. Every monster I draw is actually a self-portrait.”


对潘慕文来说,艺术是在现代社会的制约下,人们得以发泄内心能量、破坏力和战争倾向的一种方式。他解释道:“我崇拜人和动物的力量。我梦想拥有支配权力来统治、摧毁,让敌人畏惧我。当然,这都是不可能实现的。今天的世界上没有人能拥有这样的力量。所以我用画像来为自己创造这样一个世界。在我的画里,我可以做任何我想做的事情,吃掉我讨厌的人。我画的每个怪物其实都是一幅自画像。”

From the Monkeys series. / 来自《Monkeys》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
Big Bad Wolves

Website: mupan.com
Instagram: @mupan1911

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站mupan.com
Instagram@mupan1911

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Billie’s Boys Charm

Billie Snippet is a Korean-American illustrator and the co-founder of Uchuu Summer, an apparel and accessories label inspired by summer, nostalgia, and space. Similar to the aesthetic of Uchuu Summer, her illustrations are bright and colorful, featuring a world of (mostly male) character who like to show off their playful, nostalgic, and sensual sides. Her inspiration comes from many sources – including manga and anime from the 80s and 90s, cartoons from her childhood, children’s illustrations, vaporwave music, and fashion photography.


Billie Snippet 是一位美籍韩裔插画家,同时也是 Uchuu Summer 品牌的共同创始人,这个时尚品牌充满了夏季、怀旧和太空的意象。Billie 的插画风格与 Uchuu Summer 品牌相似,同样明亮而多彩。在她的插画世界里,主角大部分都是一些乐于展现其俏皮个性、怀旧情绪和感性一面的男性角色。她的灵感来源很丰富,包括了 80、90年代的漫画和插图、小时候看的动漫和漫画、儿童插画、蒸汽波(Vaporwave)音乐和时尚摄影等等。

Billie wasn’t always set on becoming an artist. She shares with us, “When I was in elementary school, I was the quiet child in my class that was always drawing. However, until high school, I only treated it as a hobby, because I was undecided between being an artist or a writer.”

After deciding to pursue a career in the arts, she first went into a program in Fine Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara, and then transferred to a program in Illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) after two years. During her college days, she began selling her illustrations at anime conventions, mostly offering books, goods, and her self-published doujinshi works. Building on her entrepreneurial success, In 2016, she founded the Uchuu Summer label with friend and fellow illustrator Gabrielle Howitz.


Billie 不是从小就立志成为一名艺术家。她与我们分享道:“小时候,我是班上比较安静的小孩,总是埋头在画画。在高中之前,我一直只是把画画当作一种爱好,因为我还未决定好要成为一名艺术家还是作家。 ”

下定决心从事艺术工作之后,她先是进入加州大学圣巴巴拉分校修读艺术专业,然后在两年后转到马里兰艺术学院(MICA)攻读插画专业。大学时期,她开始在动漫大会上出售自己的插图作品,主要是一些书、商品和自己出版的同人志作品。有了这些初期创业的经验,2016 年,她与她的插画家朋友 Gabrielle Howitz 一起创立了 Uchuu Summer 品牌。

While Billie works mostly digitally in Adobe Photoshop CC nowadays, she’s equally adept with traditional mediums like watercolor and ink. Regardless of medium, the images she creates have a distinct aesthetic with an overarching theme of male vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is a trait I find attractive and fascinating in people because it exposes their true self,” she shares with us. “It’s bare and alluring. And it is easier to trust a person that shows vulnerability.” For Billie, her depiction of male characters is a way to break away from stereotypical gender roles. “We live in a world where men are discouraged to show vulnerability. Instead, there is an abundance of vulnerable women in art – to the point where it became a cliché. So it’s more interesting for me to draw vulnerable men.”


虽然 Billie 现在主要采用 Adobe Photoshop CC 创作,但她同样善于使用水彩和墨水等传统材料。无论是用何种媒介创作,她的作品都有一个共同的特别之处:展示男性脆弱的一面。

她解释道:“我觉得,脆弱是一种特别有吸引力和迷人的特质,因为它暴露了每个人最真实的自我,赤裸又诱人。况且, 一个愿意展现出脆弱那一面的人往往比较可信。”对于 Billie 来说,她对男性角色的描绘是摆脱性别偏见的一种方式。“我们生活在一个男性不愿意表现出脆弱的社会里。与此相反的是,在艺术中经常能看到大量女性脆弱的形象。虽然感觉已经有点陈词滥调,但我觉得画脆弱的男性会更有趣。”

Billie continues to self-publish her illustrations, comic books, is currently working on projects for the Uchuu Summer label, which will include a comic that’s planned to be released next year. Uchuu Summer apparel, products, and zines are currently available for purchase at shops in Los Angeles and Tokyo, as well as on Uchuu Summer’s web shop.


除了继续独立出版插画书和漫画书,Billie 目前还正在制作 Uchuu Summer 品牌的项目,其中包括预计明年发行的漫画。想要购买 Uchuu Summer 的服装、产品和杂志,除了可以在洛杉矶和东京的门店里现场购买,也可以到 Uchuu Summer 的在线商店购买。

Websiteuchuusummer.com
Instagram: @bsnippet

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站uchuusummer.com
Instagram: @bsnippet

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Deciphering the Human Experience

Born in Taipei and raised in Shanghai, Jocelyn Tsaih is an illustrator, animator, and designer currently based in New York City. Her artistic style is defined by a distinct, minimalist approach that’s complemented by her quirky sense of humor.

More often than not, Tsaih’s work features a mysterious, amorphous character that’s meant to embody the various facets of modern life. The character, initially based on a stick figure, evolved as a way for Tsaih to convey abstract concepts derived from her own experiences.


在台北出生,在上海长大的 Jocelyn Tsaih 目前长居在纽约,是一名插画家和设计师。她的作品风格简约,且充满着古怪的幽默感。

Jocelyn 的大部分作品里会出现一个神秘的、不定形的角色,意在表达现代生活的方方面面。而这个角色最初是她以火柴人为原型创作的,后来演变成她从自己的经历中传达抽象概念的一种方式。

“It sounds kind of cheesy, but I started drawing it as a way to express my internal conflicts and to represent anything human,” she shares. “As I explored different ways of conveying what I was feeling, I started to use the figure in ways that are more abstract. I think my thought process is that even though we are human, a lot of things about us are intangible, like emotions and feelings.”


“虽然听起来有点俗气,但我一开始画这个角色是为了抒发内心的冲突,表达关于人类的一切。” Jocelyn 说,“随着我尝试用不同的方式来传达自己的感受,我也开始用更抽象的方式来表现这个火柴人。我的想法是,作为人类,很多关于我们的事情都是无形的,譬如情感和感觉。”

Tsaih currently works at WeWork as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator. Outside of her full-time job, she’s equally busy with a constant juggling act between personal and freelance projects. She’s already accumulated an impressive list of clients including Adobe Photoshop, Condé Nast, Nickelodeon, Tictail, and GIPHY. But despite her professional accomplishments, there was a time when Tsaih felt uncertain about her future as an artist. As a teenager, many of her peers discouraged her desire to pursue a career in the arts. It was only after a period of self-doubt and confusion that she decided to trust her own judgment: “I believed that art was valuable, and I pushed myself because I didn’t want people’s skewed perceptions to be validated.”


Jocelyn 目前作为一名全职平面设计师和插画家任职于共享办公空间 WeWork。不上班的时候,她会去创作自己的个人项目和自由职业项目,她曾经合作过的客户里包括 Adobe Photoshop、康泰纳仕集团(Condé Nast)、美国儿童节目频道 Nickelodeon,以及 Tictail 和 GIPHY 网站。虽然如今在事业上获得成功,但曾经有一段时间,Jocelyn 也不确定自己是否真的能成为一名艺术家。十几岁的时候,她的许多同龄人都不鼓励她去追求艺术事业。在经过一段时间的自我怀疑和困惑之后,她才终于决定相信自己的判断:“我相信艺术是有价值的,我不断推动自己去努力,是因为我不希望证明人们扭曲的看法是对的。”

For Jocelyn, creativity comes from being open-minded; it comes from a willingness to dive head first into new experiences, whether it’s interacting with different people or being in an unfamiliar environment. She tells us, “A lot of my work represents my reaction to things, so the more experiences I have, the more ideas I’ll have to turn into drawings.” These days, she’s begun dabbling with ceramics and paintings – processes that, for her, require a lot more time and deeper reflection on the underlying concepts she intends to explore. Patience is a fundamental part of her creative process. “90% of the time is spent thinking an idea over and 10% of the time is spent making the actual work,” she explains, “The final result often looks simple, but it usually takes a long time for me to get to that point, although I know it doesn’t look like it.”


对于 Jocelyn 来说,创意来自于开放的心态和尝试新事物的经历,或是与不同的人互动,或是置身于异国的环境中。她告诉我们:“我的许多作品都表达了我对事物的反应,所以,我的经历越丰富,我才能有越来越多的想法来创作成画。”近来,她一直在涉猎陶瓷和绘画,对她来说,这些艺术创作过程需要花大量的时间对作品内在概念进行反思。Jocelyn 表示,耐心是她创作过程的关键。她解释说:“ 90% 的时间是花在思考上面的,只有 10% 的时间才是花在实际的创作中。最终的作品看起来很简单,但我其实需要很长的时间才能画出来,虽然我知道它看起来不像。”

After six years in New York City, Tsaih is now planning a move to San Francisco in the coming year. She sees this as an opportunity to explore a new environment and experience a change of pace. She shares with us, “Having come from Shanghai to New York, I feel like I’ve only known how to live in very stimulating, fast-paced environments. It might be a little challenging to shift to a slower pace of life, and I might end up hating it, but I hope some good things will come out of the experience either way!”


在纽约生活了六年后,Jocelyn 计划在新的一年搬到旧金山,体验新的环境,转换一下生活节奏。她说:“从上海来到纽约,我觉得自己好像只在紧张刺激、快节奏的环境里生活过。要转变到一种较慢的生活节奏,可能会有点挑战性,甚至我可能最终会讨厌这种生活。但我希望不管怎样,都能在这次经历中取得一些好的收获。”

Customs pins and a tote bag by Jocelyn Tsaih are now available in limited supply on the Neocha Shop. Click into our Shopify below for product details.


Jocelyn Tsaih 限量特供版胸针和帆布袋,现在上线 Neocha 商店,点进微店即可查看商品详情。

 


Jocelyn Tsaih “Into Yourself” 胸针

¥60

立刻购买

 

Jocelyn Tsaih “Shapes” 帆布袋

¥110

立刻购买

Websitewww.jocelyntsaih.com
Instagram: @jocelyntsaih

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Photographer: Nick Korompilas


网站www.jocelyntsaih.com
Instagram: @jocelyntsaih

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao
摄影师: Nick Korompilas

Soap Operas as Inspiration

A snippet from Episode 3 of Hello, Finale!  《你好,尽头!》第三集 片段

无法观看?前往优酷

Chinese multimedia artist Tao Hui’s newest series, Hello Finale!follows nine different individuals making a phone call to close acquaintances. Inspired by film, soap operas, and even local news, the series explores topics of love, life, and death through the overarching theme of “all things must end.”


这是艺术家陶辉的作品。他的新作系列《你好,尽头!》讲的是9个不同的人分别给各自亲友或他人打电话,这些灵感来源于对电影、电视剧,甚至市井新闻报道内容的再创作,内容则讲述的都是一些和尽头相关的主题,爱、生命、死亡等等

For Tao Hui, who grew up during the peak era of cable television, TV has been central in his creative growth. Observing his mother, an avid fan of Taiwanese writer Qiong Yao, cry when watching Yao’s shows, led Tao to propose the questions of “What is the relationship between reality, television shows, and films” and “What role can art play in exploring their dynamic?”


对陶辉来说,他成长在电视媒体的发展和顶峰时期,从小的媒体启蒙就是电视。陶辉曾说自己的妈妈特别爱看琼瑶剧,看得入戏时常常会边看边哭。这让陶辉不禁反思起现实和影视剧之间的关系究竟是怎样的?艺术创作又将以怎样的身份介入?

Tao Hui’s goal is to clearly define the often blurry line between TV shows and reality. In Hello, Finale!, Tao intentionally cherry-picked footage with minor acting slip-ups. “I don’t want the audience to fully believe what I’m showing them. I want them to see the flaws and understand this is what a performance is. There are parts that are real and parts that are fake.”


那根模糊于戏里戏外的分界线,陶辉想把它挑出来。在这次《你好,尽头!》的制作过程中,陶辉故意选了一些没那么完美的成片,“我希望观众不要完全相信我提供的内容,就是想让观众看到出错的部分,意识到这就是表演,有真实有虚假。”

With thoughtfully produced television shows and movies becoming increasingly difficult to find in China, the general public has grown accustomed to the visually grandiose films that are made for fast profit. “This is to be expected in our modern life. The pursuit of beauty has always been a large driving force behind human motivation, and as our society develops, people have more money to spend on their pursuit of beautiful things. Hence, it’s even more important to separate works that are made for profit and works with artistic intentions.”


现在耗时长且制作精良的影视剧越来越少,公众视线似乎更容易聚集在美色创造的商业电影之中。陶辉说,这是这个时代的必经之路啊,美色一直都是一股强大的生产驱动力,而且社会的发展导致消费力大增。但是我们还是要把这种类型的影视剧和有艺术追求的影视作品做个区分。

Discussing favorite directors, Tao Hui names Abdellatif Kechicheall, Asghar Farhadiof, and Michael Haneke to be his current picks. And even though the three don’t share any stylistic similarities, the common denominator is that their films are far more thoughtful than typical Hollywood blockbusters. “I feel like for-profit movies are made for the average consumer, created for mass appeal and satisfying the public,” Tao says with a shrug. “For-profit films and video art should be differentiated. The former is a product; it’s something for people to consume. The latter is created with the goal of provoking discussion and making people think.”


他谈起喜欢的电影导演:柯西胥,法哈蒂,哈内克——很难一以概括的风格,但可以肯定的是,三者都绝非商业大片的导演。“我认为商业电影是为了消费观众情绪、满足观众情感。我们还是要把商业影视剧和有艺术追求的影视作品做个区分,一种是商品,只是为了消费;而另一种却是为了引发思考。”

 

无法观看?前往腾讯视频

More of Tao Hui’s work is currently on display at Shanghai’s Rockbound Art Museum as part of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017. Click here to find out more.


在近期上海外滩美术馆举办的“HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖中可以看到更多陶辉的作品。点击这里可以购买展览门票。

EventHUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
Exhibition Dates: 10/27/2017 ~ 2/11/2018

Address:
Rockbund Art Museum
Huqiu Road 20
Huangpu District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

 

Website: ~/TaoHui

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan
Image Courtesy of Tao Hui and Rockbund Art Museum


活动HUGO BOSS 2017亚洲新锐艺术家大奖
展期: 2017年10月27日——2018年2月11日

地点:
中国
上海黄浦区
虎丘路20号
外滩美术馆

 

网站: ~/TaoHui

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan
图片由陶辉与上海外滩美术馆提供

Inkee Wang’s Strange, Quirky World

A master’s graduate from the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Inkee Wang is a Shanghai-based illustrator with a lovable and colorful style. Her quirky sense of humor shines through in her characters and their strange, elongated limbs. In recent years alone, she’s collaborated with notable publications and brands such as Bloomberg, Art Bazaar, and ONE.


从伦敦皇家艺术学院硕士毕业的Inkee Wang(王颖琦)目前居住于上海。她的插画风格很受欢迎,活泼欢乐的主题、长手长脚的画中人,怎么看都有一种奇妙的幽默感。近年来,她与Bloomberg、Art Bazaar、“一个”及其他各大商业或文艺媒体都有过合作。

With regard to her unique style, Inkee tells us that it developed almost accidentally. “My older works were more rigid because I was just learning how to use the Path tool in After Effects and creating twisting motions was the best way to express this tool’s features so I created a dancing black cat. The long limbs came about because I thought they were aesthetically pleasing.” Inkee has always enjoyed sharing the untold stories of different individuals. While the characters in her works are not necessarily direct portrayals of people in real life, they’re nevertheless subtly inspired by the mannerisms and personality traits of the people that surround her.


对于这样的诙谐画风,Inkee表示它来自偶然,“我之前的画比较僵直,因为那时候我刚学会在 After Effect 里面用 Path 做动画,扭动比较能体现这个工具的特征,所以就创作了一只舞动的黑猫。而长手长脚是因为我觉得相对有美感。” Inkee一直想要展现人物背后的小故事,画中的人们在现实生活中虽然没有一对一的参照,但其性格特征、说话方式,都会受到长期生活的身边人所影响,所以也都会在她的画中潜移默化地展露出个性。

For Inkee, inspiration comes mostly from people and plants. Even in a piece that was clearly themed around music, Inkee is able to find a way to incorporate her favorite subject matter. “I wanted to use the boiling of of my four favorite vegetables to depict the rhythmic qualities of music – together, they become a healthy and tasty quartet.” (QUARTET was featured in the Soft Candy manga series published by ONE)


对她来说,画画的灵感来自人,也来自草木。比如明明主题是音乐的作品,Inkee却“希望能通过烹煮最喜欢的4个蔬菜来提现音乐的节奏感,他们是很健康美味的四重奏组合。”(《四重奏》系列插画刊登于一个App工作室旗下软糖漫画的条漫)

From attending school to working full-time, Inkee has persevered with her illustrations. “The most simple reason is that I like it,” she says. Inkee describes herself as “still having a lot of questions about the world” and plans to improve on her visual storytelling, learn more about 3D art, and create more works by hand. But for now, Inkee says that her most important task at hand is to read more books so that she can satisfy her sense of curiosity.


从学业到工作,Inkee一直坚持在画画,最直接的理由,是因为喜欢Inkee说自己对世界还抱有很多疑问,接下去还会继续尝试画故事、学学3D、做一些立体的手工,重要的还得多读书解疑

Website: cargocollective.com/inkeewang
Behance
: ~/InkeeWang
Weibo~/InkeeWang

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站: cargocollective.com/inkeewang
Behance
: ~/InkeeWang
微博~/InkeeWang

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Searching for the Self

Yuqing Zhu is a Chinese American artist, writer, and Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Using materials including pencil, chiyogami paper, origami paper, and magazine cut-outs, Zhu creates colorful self-portraits that examine the nature of identity and culture. Neocha spoke with Zhu to learn more about her life, art, and studies. Check out the conversation below.


朱禹清(Yuqing Zhu)是一名美籍华裔艺术家和作家,目前在芝加哥大学攻读神经学博士学位。通过铅笔、千代纸(Chiyogami)、折纸、杂志上剪下的图片等材料,她创作了一系列彩色自画像,以此对自我身份和文化本质进行审视。Neocha和朱禹清聊了一下,进一步去了解她的生活、艺术和学业。一起来看下这段对话吧。

Neocha: As a neuroscience student, how do you balance your art with your academic studies?

Zhu: Before beginning my program, someone told me that finding a hobby as soon as possible is the best way to keep sane. Luckily for me, I already had something. I think the key to finding balance was by assigning equal importance to both art and science. It’s truly a matter of mindset. I’m serious enough about neuroscience to be part of a five-year-plus Ph.D. program, so it’s quite a struggle to match that level of dedication in my art! I may need to spend more time in lab or in lecture, simply due to the nature of the work, but I try to think about and create art consistently as well.

Some days I recognize that I’ve been neglecting creating art for too long. On those days I simply put down my science and draw. This usually rejuvenates my work on the science side as well. Scientific research can devolve into a lot of drudgery and grunt work but doing something creative reminds me to think broadly and reassess where I’m at. My most inspired periods in the lab usually match up with my most productive periods at the easel.


Neocha: 作为一名神经科学的学生,你如何平衡自己的艺术创作与学业?

Zhu: 在我开始修读学位之前,有人劝我尽快找个爱好,这是让自己保持理智的最佳方式。幸运的是,我早就有这样的爱好。我觉得,找到平衡的关键是对艺术和科学赋予同等的重要性。这确实就是心态的问题。我对于学神经科学是很认真的,所以才会决心读一个5年多的博士学位课程,所以要在艺术方面也投入同等的专注,确实不容易。我可能会花更多的时间在实验室或上课,主要是因为这个专业本身的需要,但我会尽量保持不断地去思考和创造艺术。

有些时候当我发现自己太长时间没有进行艺术创作时,我会先把学习放在一边,去画画。这样一来,我在科学学习时也会有更多新的能量。科学研究常常需要做很多苦差事和繁重的体力劳动,所以进行一些创意创作可以提醒自己想得更广,重新评估自己的位置。我在实验室受启发最多的时候,往往也是我艺术创作最多产的时期。

Neocha: What are some of the parallels between art and neuroscience?

Zhu: I’ve had a lot of people ask me this question, and I’m not sure if I can give a satisfactory answer even to myself! Here’s my shot at it: art and science are both part of an abstract search for the balance between beauty and complexity. Self-portraiture and neuroscience are both part of an abstract search of the core of one’s identity beyond one’s own biases.

I adore complexity. It wasn’t always obvious that the complex system I wanted to study was the brain. I used to, and still do actually, love things like M. C. Escher’s prints and delight in the extremely dense inkwork of Edward Gorey and more recently of Manabu Ikeda. Complex interactions in anything from ecology to musical scores are still fascinating to me.

A lot of times neurobiology gives you extremely elegant solutions to complex problems. How do we hear? How do entire nervous systems develop from embryonic stages into adulthood? How can we sense things like temperature, and how do we perceive things like colors? When systems like these come to be understood and explained, we realize how logically elegant they are! That doesn’t mean the solutions are simple or straightforward or even the most efficient, but nonetheless, they work, and I find them beautiful! A large part of the time we don’t know the full answer yet. For me, the process for finishing a work of art is the same as for finding a piece of evidence in the framework of a scientific theory.


Neocha: 艺术与神经科学之间有什么相似之处?

Zhu: 已经有很多人问过我这个问题,即使是回答自己,我也不确定可不可以给出一个满意的答复!不过我可以试一下。艺术和科学都属于为寻找美丽和复杂性之间的平衡而作出的一种抽象性探索。自画像与神经科学都属于为寻找一种超越自己偏见、核心的自我身份认知而作出的一种抽象性探索。

我崇拜复杂性。以前我没搞清楚原来自己一直想研究的复杂系统就是大脑。我以前(现在也仍然)很喜欢M. C. Escher的版画,Edward Gorey以及最近很喜欢的池田学(Manabu Ikeda)他们那些极其细腻的钢笔画。从生态学到乐谱,任何事物间复杂的相互作用对我来说都充满魅力。

很多时候,神经生物学可以给你一个极其优雅的答案,来回答复杂的问题。我们是怎么听声音的?整个中枢神经系统如何从胚胎阶段发展到成年期?我们如何能感觉到温度,或者我们如何感知色彩?当我们能够理解和解释这些系统时,我们会意识到,它们有着多么优雅的逻辑!这并不意味着它们所提供的答案是简单的、直接的,也不是最有效率的,但它们是行得通的,而且我觉得很有美感!大部分的时间,我们还未知道全部的答案。对我来说,完成一件艺术品的过程与在某个科学理论的框架里又找到一块证据是一样的。

Neocha: Expanding on that, are there any other similarities between the creative process for art versus science?

Zhu: I think the creative process is crucial for good science. You can’t create good art or do good science by being dogmatic about it. Scientific research is all about finding something new that’s never been known before. Art is about creating something that has not existed in the world before. Paradigm shifts occur in science as well as in art! New movements emerge when individuals dare to look at things in vastly different ways. The move from geocentrism to heliocentrism, from Lamarckian inheritance to Darwinian evolution (and now to a complex epigenetics that is beyond me), all happened because scientists dared to think differently!


Neocha: 进一步说,科学与艺术创作的过程之间有其它的相似之处吗?

Zhu: 艺术创作的过程对于进行科学研究也是关键。如果太过于教条主义,你不能创作出好的艺术,也不能进行很好的科学研究。科学研究就是要寻找人们未知的新事物。而艺术是要创造出世界上之前并不存在的事物。范式转变在科学和艺术上都会发生!当个体敢以截然不同的方式看待事情时,就会催生新的运动出现。从地心说到日心说的转变,从拉马克获得性遗传到达尔文的进化论(再到现在超越我理解的复杂的表观遗传学)的发展,都是因为有科学家敢于从不同角色思考而发生的!

Neocha: What does your personal creative process usually look like?

Zhu: The process of creating a portrait is very straightforward. I can pull up a piece of paper and simply start drawing. Sometimes I’ll draw myself without much thought. Those are usually sketches to be filed away. Other times a specific idea will come to mind, and I’ll act on it. I like to finish pieces in one long breath – I’ll think of something as I eat breakfast and by the time I go to sleep that night it’ll be finished. Of course, I usually don’t spend that whole stretch of time literally drawing. Almost every portrait involves a little bit of research about the historical period I’m assuming in my clothing or looser web browsing for inspiration and references.

I’m terrible about finishing something that I started on a different day. I guess it’s possibly because when I wake up the next morning I feel like a brand new self and the half-finished piece no longer has power as a part of me. I rarely sit and ponder or actively brainstorm for a portrait. The pieces fall together as I work.


Neocha:你艺术创作的过程一般是怎样的?

Zhu:创作画像的过程很简单。拿出一张纸,我就开始画画。有时我会画自己,也不会想太多。那些一般只是一些蓝图,很快就放在一边去了。其它时候,如果突然想到一个特定的想法,我就会将这个想法画下来。我喜欢一口气完成几幅画,可能我吃早餐的时候有了一些想法,然后到我那天晚上去睡觉前就可能已经创作出来。当然,我不会真的一整天一直画个不停。在画每一张画像前,我几乎都会先对画像中预想的服装造型所涉及到的年代进行一点研究,或是随意地上网浏览,来找灵感和参考。

我很怕要去画完我前一天开始的作品!可能是因为,当我第二天醒来的时候,会感觉自己已经是一个全新的自我,之前创作了一半的画已经不再是我的一部分,也失去了它原本的力量。我很少会特意坐下来去思考,或进行头脑风暴,来想如何创作一幅肖像画。通常我一边工作的时候就一边想好了应该怎样进行创作。

Neocha: How does heritage influence your work?

Zhu: I try to learn as much as I can about something before I incorporate it as a facet of my portraits. This is especially important for Chinese history – if I don’t understand something sufficiently (it’s the science researcher’s mindset), I feel like a fraud, like I’m wearing a “Chinese Halloween costume.” Sometimes I feel very far removed from China and its peoples and their rich history. Creating these self-portraits is a way to look at myself and see who I may be inside or the ancestors I contain.

The color palettes that I use are definitely inspired by the colors of modern metropolitan China as well as the dynastic past. Sometimes I have misgivings about using chiyogami. I try to pick patterns that are in common with traditional Chinese textiles and not ones that are uniquely Japanese since that culture is not part of my heritage. I got the idea of dressing my self-portraits from my paternal grandmother. She used to cut out patterned paper to decorate or altogether recreate scenes from children’s books, creating beautiful, intricate collages. Right now, I use a similar technique to what she did with tracing paper. I draw myself, get a rough sense of which collage elements I will need to overlay, and then use tracing paper in order to get the outlines exactly right. Then I use that as a stencil to cut shapes out of patterned paper.


Neocha: 你自身的文化背景如何影响你的作品?

Zhu: 在我将某种元素融入我的肖像画时,我都会先尽可能多地去了解它。尤其是关于中国的历史,如果我不能充分地了解某种事物(这是一种科学研究者的心态),我会感觉自己像个骗子,仿佛我披了一件“中国的万圣节服装”。有时,我会觉得自己与中国、中国人和他们丰富的历史隔得非常遥远。而创作这些自画像就变成一种审视自己的方式,让我去了解自己的内心,了解我所来自的文化。

我的色彩灵感来自现代中国的大都市和过去的王朝历史。有时,对于使用千代纸我也会有一些顾虑。我会尽量选用一些图案更贴近中国传统纺织品,而不是那些一看就是日本风格的千代纸,因为日本文化不属于我的文化背景。我后来想到了按照奶奶的打扮来画自画像。她以前常常用来剪出的图案纸装饰或重新设计儿童书籍中的场景,打造出错综复杂的美丽拼贴画。现在,我按照她的手法,在描图纸上创作。我通常先画出自画像,大概感觉下我可能需要怎样的拼贴元素,然后使用描图纸,获得正确的轮廓。然后用它作为模具,从图案纸上剪出形状。

Neocha: How have art and science changed your perception of self and identity?

Zhu: We are so, so biased in our conception of our brains because our thoughts can never escape them. Oftentimes, we fall into the trap of “this is so obvious,” when actually our firsthand experience is quite wrong. For example, our visual perception of the world is just a useful approximation of what is truly there. The perception of color – a biological representation of the electromagnetic spectrum across animal species – is the most fascinating thing to me (not to mention the phenomenon of consciousness, a taboo topic for most neuroscientists still). Working past, and sometimes outright rejecting the ideas that we hold based on our own brainy experiences is central to the practice of good neuroscience.

Self-portraiture is the exact same. We as individuals don’t, in fact, have an accurate idea of what we look like, much less of who we truly are. Someone once told me that, while I was pretty accurate at drawing other people, my own portraits were lacking. This was perhaps a year ago. That’s the point at which I began to draw myself in earnest and to strive for self-understanding and representational accuracy. I try to portray different aspects of what I understand as my actual self in my self-portraits. More and more, these are buried aspects – split open my face and what would you find? An octopus – an organism that is remarkably intelligent yet with an altogether alien nervous system. Do they operate at similar levels of cognition as humans? What would that mean in practice? Put my past in front of me, dress me in Qing Dynasty robes, and what do we have? The truth or still a self-distortion? As a young Chinese American, when I assume the attire of Communist-era China, am I connecting to my parents’ generation, or am I romanticizing a past that I do not have any true ownership of? These are questions I can’t yet answer.


Neocha: 艺术和科学如何改变你对自我和身份的看法?

Zhu: 我们大脑里的观念充满了偏见,因为我们的思想离不开大脑。很多时候我们掉进一些所谓“显而易见”的陷阱,但实际上,我们的亲身经验却是错的。例如,我们对世界的视觉感知只不过是真实世界的近似值。对色彩的感知——电磁频谱在动物物种间的生物表述——是对我来说最有趣的事情(更不用提“意识”这个在大多数神经科学家中仍然是禁忌话题的现象)。要进行有效的神经科学实践,我们要抛开,甚至直接否定这种我们根据自己自以为是的经验所得出的想法。

自画像也一样。作为个人,我们事实上并知道自己真实的样子,更不知道我们到底是谁。有人曾告诉我,虽然我画其他人的时候画得很像,但画自己就不是那么准确了。那大概是一年前的事情了。但从那时起,我才开始认真画自己,努力去理解自己,准确地描绘出自己。我试着从不同侧面,在我的自画像中描绘出我所理解的真正自我。慢慢地,我的笔下出现了越来越多那些曾被掩埋的一面,撕开我的脸,你会找到什么?章鱼是一种非常聪明的有机体,却有着人类完全陌生的中枢神经系统。它们的认知水平是不是跟人类类似?在实践中,这将意味着什么?将我的过去放在我的面前,让我穿上清朝的长袍,又会产生什么呢?是真相,还是依然只是扭曲的自我?作为一名年轻的美籍华人,当我穿上共产主义时代的中国装束时,我是让自己回到了我父母那个年代,还是在美化这种我并未真正拥有过的过去?这些都是我还无法回答的问题。

Website: yqzhu.com
Instagram: @yq_z

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站: yqzhu.com
Instagram: @yq_z

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao